Zim filmmaker nominated for regional awards

HARARE - Emerging film producer Porcia Mudavanhu believes she stands a good chance of landing an accolade at this year’s Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Gender Protocol Media Awards to be held later this month in South Africa.

The awards, which recognise works that promote equality in all aspects of public and private life, are scheduled to be held in Johannesburg from April 22 to 24.

Mudavanhu, who was nominated for her 52-minute documentary called Kuyambuka-Crossing Borders, is delighted to be in the running for such coveted regional awards.

“I feel honoured to have my second production nominated for the awards,” said Mudavanhu.

“If you are new in the industry and you get recognised for your efforts, it encourages you to do more.”

Mudavanhu said she was inspired by women cross-borders, who despite the challenges they face in foreign countries, continue to fend for their families.

“Kuyambuka looks at measures that could make cross-border trading more viable,” she said adding that the documentary counters the general perception that women involved in cross- border trading are loose and uneducated women.

“These women work at great personal and economic risk as they can be robbed, beaten or sexually harassed by transporters and customs officials.

“This documentary shows how women have managed to develop themselves by acquiring property like residential stands and houses through proceeds from cross-border trading,” said Mudavanhu.

The objectives of the documentary revolve around showing how women can meaningfully participate in trade and to contribute to the improved status of women in cross-border trading. It also aims to disseminate information on relevant trade agreements.

Since 2004, Gender Links and partner organisations have held the regional Gender and Media (Gem) summits every two years.

The first Gem summit, a collaborative effort between Gender Links and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) took place in 2004 under the banner Making Every Voice Count.

This summit followed the launch of the Gender and Media Baseline Study (GMBS) in 2003.

It was at this summit that media partners formed the Gender and Media Southern Africa Network (GEMSA).
Subsequent summits took place in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

The past four Gem summits have brought together key mediastakeholders who include, media practitioners, media researchers, media trainers, students, civil society, regulators and ordinary citizens.

Gender Links has always combined the Gem summits with the Gem awards, which seek to recognise and award gender and media excellence. - Talent Chapanduka

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